If it feels like multifamily renters are shifting towards touring fewer apartment communities before signing a lease, it’s because they are. According to the 2020 NMHC/Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Report, during their last apartment search, 38% of the survey’s 373,000 respondents toured 1-2 properties, 37% 3-4 properties, and only 12% 5-6 properties. 

This trend is because renters are performing the majority of their research online and making a shortlist of their favorites based on what they find. In 2017, 79% of renters visited a property’s website before touring it and in 2020, that number is up to 85%. To catch their attention – and generate more qualified tours for your property as a result, you need to update your website to show renters that you have what they want.

Use Data to Structure Your Website

Renters’ wants vary by geographic region, asset class, and the availability of similar properties nearby. What doesn’t change however is the essential information they need to see on your website before making the decision to tour. The NMHC/Kingsley Associates report asked respondents, “Which of the following factors helped you decide to visit a community?” This is what they had to say:

  1. Location/convenience: 75%
  2. Rental rate: 70%
  3. Floor plan/layout of apartment: 63% 
  4. Apartment features/finishes: 56%
  5. Community appearance: 54%
  6. Safety/security of the community: 51% 
  7. Community amenities: 44%
  8. Lease terms: 37%
  9. Content of online ratings/reviews: 33% 
  10. Pet policy: 31%
  11. Friends/family recommendation: 16%

While the results aren’t that surprising (location, price, and floor plan have long been understood as the most important factors renters consider when leasing a new home), they do provide good insight into what needs to be included on your website to convert more traffic into tours. 

Top 5 Multifamily Website Must-Haves

As noted above, location, rental rate, floor plan, apartment features, and community appearance are the top five most important factors renters consider before touring an apartment. With more than a decade of experience in digital marketing for multifamily, G5 knows a thing or two about attracting your next renters. We’ve compiled a list of our best tips to make sure your website addresses each.

1. Location/Convenience

When a potential renter visits your site, regardless of which page they enter on, you need to tell them where your property is located – including the neighborhood, city, and state. Adding a map and neighborhood page help contextualize your location relative to nearby landmarks and points of interest. Be sure to note major employers, as well as grocery stores, commute options, and other conveniences in the area. 

2. Rental Rate

Once a renter knows where you’re located, they want to know that they can afford to live in your community. Showing rental rates on your website is good business; integrating your website and PMS to show current pricing is even better business. Price qualification is important for renters. Save them and your front office staff time by including the latest pricing on your website.

3. Floor Plan/Layout of Apartment

Next up in what renters want from your website: apartment floor plans and layouts. At a minimum, your website should include a 2D floor plan of each available unit type. To up the ante, consider adding 3D floor plans which make it easier for renters to understand an apartment at scale and how their furniture and belongings will fit into the space. This is another area where having your backend integrated with the frontend can help convert more tours by providing renters with real-time apartment availability. 

4. Apartment Features/Finishes

Some renters love the feeling of carpet underfoot when they first hop out of bed in the morning, others prefer hardwood they can jazz up with a rug of their own. Some live for a white subway tile backsplash, while others would rather see a colorful mosaic. Although tastes may vary between renters, what they all have in common is wanting to know the features and finishes are included with an apartment before touring it. Listing these out in detail is ideal for renters who consume content by reading, but a virtual tour is better for those who need to see to believe.

5. Community Appearance

Using stock photos on your website is great for curating a lifestyle, but it’s not so good for showcasing your actual property – which is what renters really want to see. Think of the photos on your website as its digital curb appeal. By investing in professional property photography, you show renters what they can expect to see when they show up on-site, enticing them to schedule a tour.

Learn More About What Renters Want

Knowing what renters want is the first step towards converting more website traffic into tours, but in order to do that, your website must also adhere to best practices for user experience (UX) design.

Download G5’s UX Best Practices Checklist to see what you need to do to update your website so it is more engaging for visitors.